New construction of an administrative and operational building, St. Wendel (GER)

Category :

Architecture competitions

Project :

New construction of an administrative and operational building with outside areas

Client :

Stadtwerke St. Wendel GmbH & CO KG, öffentlich

Country :

Germany

Area :

gfa 2.067,79 m²

Planning period :

08/2018 - 11/2018


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project New construction of an administrative and operational building with outside areas, St. Wendel (GER) client Stadtwerke St. Wendel GmbH & CO KG (GER), public services WW+, Esch-sur-Alzette (LUX) / Trier (GER) architecture in coorperation with open space HDK Dutt & Kist Landschaftsarchitekten, Saarbrücken (GER) gfa 2.067,79 m² net construction c. 4.500.000 competition phase 08/2018 - 11/2018

 

GENIUS LOCI

The individuality of the location on the southern outskirts of St. Wendel is limited solely by urban planning perspectives. The area is currently used as a parking lot. The location is characterized by its peripheral situation. North and west, it is framed by the natural space of the city park and the Blies river course, while to the south of the buildings lies the St. Wendel Volunteer Fire Department and to the east of the buildings, the Lebenshilfe counselling and kindergarten centres.

In terms of transport, the site is accessible from the Werkstrasse or St. Floriansweg. The B41 south to Neunkirchen or north to Nohfelden and the A62 is quickly accessible. The St. Wendel train station is within walking distance.

The specific nature of the geography of the building plot and the functional use with regard to an identification character characterizes the entire sculptural and typological structure of the planned depot. The architectural and scenography concept for the individual functional units is consistently derived from existing environmental parameters and usage. 

 

DESIGN CONCEPT

The architectural concept provides for a compact building to reduce the built-up areas and places special emphasis on a harmonious integration into the surrounding urban structure. The simple yet independent shape provides a superbly successful result. The administrative building is set as a simple extension along Werkstrasse. It forms a structural conclusion on the south side of the park and defines the area spatially. Due to the volume design of the building, all main functional areas are discernible from the outside. The customer and employee parking lot located in front of the extension naturally forms a green link with the adjacent park providing parking space protection by trees.

The one-storey dry storage hall designed as a simple and robust structure abuts the St. Floriansweg. It accommodates the desired storage areas, the small workshop, the meter plant room and the covered parking spaces. Together, the hall and the administration extension spatially enclose the courtyard area arising around them, giving it a foothold and visually and acoustically shielding the maintenance depot and work shop from Werkstrasse and St. Floriansweg traffic.

A subsequent extension should be built along the Blies green belt that would round out the building cluster in a self-evident and logical manner. The second construction phase is planned so that disruption to facility operations during the construction phase can be kept to a minimum. It is planned as a separate structure. Nonetheless, it is conceivable to seamlessly link this structure to the first phase.  

 

USE AND FUNCTION

Development and functional solution

The administrative building, deliberately set along the Werkstrasse, includes the planning / operations areas, as well as the sales and customer area on the ground floor. The precisely formulated entrance creates optimal orientation for all users and clearly indicates the building’s main access location. The first floor of the building is reserved for the sales and utility management operations. Management is located on the second floor. The break room rounds out this level, featuring a front terrace and view onto the tree-covered natural area of the passing Blies River.

All other levels can be reached easily and without obstacles from the spacious foyer area on the ground floor. Due to its representative character, this area presents itself as an important interface of the building. The different types of use are optically merged by the uniform choice of material for the outer skin.

Office, meeting and lounge areas are grouped together behind the generously glazed façades. Spacious yet not excessive corridors connect the units together in a generous bath of entering daylight. The structural concept evolves from the exterior walls and a support structure that follows the corridors. The functionally oriented building complex enables the user to react directly to different situations through the flexible floor plan, if faced with changing employee structures or in terms of cost-effectiveness, and if necessary, to link different rooms with each other.

By vehicle, one reaches the new depot area by Werkstrasse and St. Floriansweg. Private traffic enters from Werkstrasse to the parking lots. The parking spaces serve both staff and visitors, and are located in close proximity to the respective entrances. Commercial traffic accesses the depot from St. Floriansweg, so that crossing traffic is eliminated or reduced to a minimum and traffic flows remain separate.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Energy concept and cost effectiveness

The starting point of the energy concept is an optimised architectural design, which is tailored to the use of existing and natural resources, as well as optimised operating and maintenance costs. The combination of sustainable construction by implementing a very good ratio of façade area to building volume (Area / Volume ratio) and a balanced façade ratio of transparent to non-transparent areas, with efficient use of energy makes it possible to achieve a holistic concept for the new SSW depot. Resolute spatial organization, a high level of building compactness and optimised thermal insulation form the basis for this concept. All the common rooms look out onto nature through large-area glazing, which also provides good natural light, creating a bright and friendly atmosphere in all rooms. The best possible natural lighting and ventilation also reduces energy consumption. In conjunction with efficient building services and renewable energy sources that combine with existing energy recovery systems, the result is a building with a high level of user comfort that could produce even lower values than those of the primary energy requirements of the current Energy Saving Ordinance in the long term. Conceptual and operational optimisation places great value on low emissions, pursuing an objective of optimising the planning of the power generation plant in terms of capital investment and operating costs. Solar energy gains can be achieved through the three-pane glazing units that the building features, so that heating requirements are greatly reduced, taking into account internal heat sources.

 


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